By Shuvai Murumbi in Victoria Falls
ENVIRONMENT, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Priscah Mupfumira has officially opened Mpala Jena Camp, an exquisite tented camp located in a private concession within the Zambezi National Park bearing testimony to increasing investor confidence in the country since the coming in of the new dispensation in 2017.
The coming in of Mpala Jena Camp which is jointly owned by Blessing Munyenyiwa, Dereck and Beverly Joubert will also go a long way in adding the number of rooms in the country in time for the anticipated tourism boom.
Minister Mupfumira applauded the multi-million-dollar investment which was constructed from January 2018 and in December 2018 adding that it shows Zimbabwe is open for business.
“This property has the largest solar farm in Zimbabwe, which is very much welcome in terms of responsible tourism.
“Great Plains Conservation has not only invested at Mpala Jena Camp but also in SAPI area where they have already spent US$ 3 million, which is evidence that Zimbabwe is indeed also open for tourism business,” she said.
Speaking at the same event, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority acting chief executive, Rita Likukuma said Mpala Jena Camp is a big story that the country can sell as part of the positive developments happening in Zimbabwe.
She said Mpala Jena Camp is unique in that it is one of the only two properties that fully operate on solar power in Zimbabwe.
Likukuma also urged the country’s tourism industry to put more focus towards highlighting positive developments happening especially in the country’s tourism sector.
“Because of the work that Great Plains is doing in Zimbabwe, you can become the mouth piece that can tell a positive story about Zimbabwe and I must say we have so many positive stories to talk about.
“Further to that, your conservation efforts which also fall within our Ministry’s portfolio are such a fantastic addition to all the work that you are doing here and your association with National Geographic gives us that extra platform to talk about all the good things that are happening in Zimbabwe,” she said.
Mpala Jena means “white impala” named, according to local National Park rangers, after an albino impala seen in the area in 1979 when the Zambezi National Park was created and separated from Victoria Falls National Park.
Over the last two (2) years, Mpala Jena Camp becomes the 18th facility to open in Victoria Falls among them, Zambezi Island Lodge, The River Brewery, The Old Drift Lodge, The Great Plains Lodge, Nguni Boutique Lodge, Mbano Manor Hotel and Ilala Lodge which added 18 additional rooms. Other facilities such as Victoria Falls Safari Club have been newly refurbished.